Top Kafka Quotes

Browse top 62 famous quotes and sayings about Kafka by most favorite authors.

Favorite Kafka Quotes

1. "We were aiming for a cross between Kafka and Orwell, which just goes to show how dangerous it can be when your police officers are better read than you are."
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
2. "HOBBES:If you don't get a goodnight kiss you get Kafka dreams."
Author: Bill Watterson
3. "I yearn for the darkness. I pray for death. Real death. If I thought that in death I would meet the people I've known in life I don't know what I'd do. That would be the ultimate horror. The ultimate despair. If I had to meet my mother again and start all of that all over, only this time without the prospect of death to look forward to? Well. That would be the final nightmare. Kafka on wheels."
Author: Cormac McCarthy
4. "Modern party-dance is simply writhing to suggestive music. It is ridiculous, silly to watch and excruciatingly embarrassing to perform. It is ridiculous, and yet absolutely everyone does it, so that it is the person who does not want to do the ridiculous thing who feels out of place and uncomfortable and self-conscious . . . in a word, ridiculous. Right out of Kafka: the person who does not want to do the ridiculous thing is the person who is ridiculous. [...] Modern party-dance is an evil thing."
Author: David Foster Wallace
5. "She smiled darkly and shook her head. 'I'm not crazy. I'm not. Of course what else would a crazy person claim? That's the Kafkaesque genius of it all. If you're not crazy but people have told the world you are, then all your protests to the contrary just underscore their point. Do you see what I'm saying?"
Author: Dennis Lehane
6. "Me crié con Lovecraft, Doyle, y Asimov. Fui educado por VíctorHugo, Dumas, y Dickens. Mis mejores amigos fueron Kafka, Poe, yKing. Dostoyevsky y Nietzsche me ayudaron a forjar el carácter.Baudelaire, Sade, y Wilde estimularon mis sentidos."
Author: Erick Cano
7. "Nothing expresses Kafka's innermost sense of self more profoundly than his lapidary definition of "writing as a form of prayer": he was a writer. Not a man who wrote, but one to whom writing was the only form of being, the only means of defying death in life."
Author: Ernst Pawel
8. "I was first introduced to Kafka's writing during my compulsory army-service basic training. During that period, Kafka's fiction felt hyperrealistic."
Author: Etgar Keret
9. "No writer in our time has been more isolated than Kafka, and yet few have achieved communication as well as he did."
Author: Eugenio Montale
10. "— Kafka era um terrorista. Incentivar todas as situações terroristas, estabelecer o pânico, lançar o terror. — E a solução? — perguntou Mauro. — A solução é a conduta católica — respondeu o amanuense Belmiro. — A solução é o próprio problema, sabe como é? Não há solução. Imagino a seguinte cena: um congresso de sábios, os mais sábios do mundo, que se reuniram para resolver o problema dos problemas, o problema transcendental, oProblema, tout-court. — O problema o quê?— Tout-court. Vá à merda.— Ah, tout-court. Merci.— Pois bem: estão reunidos, os sábios, a postos para começar a trabalhar, encontrar a solução do problema, e o Presidente do Congresso dá por iniciada a sessão, anunciando que vai, enfim, dizer qual é o Problema que os reuniu. Faz uma pausa, e declara solenemente: "Meus senhores! O problema é o seguinte: Não há problema!" — E daí? — Daí os sábios terem de resolver o problema da inexistência do problema. É o terror."
Author: Fernando Sabino
11. "Dear God, I don't want to have invented my faith to satisfy my weakness. I don't want to have created God to my own image as they're so fond of saying. Please give me the necessary grace, oh Lord, and please don't let it be as hard to get as Kafka made it."
Author: Flannery O'Connor
12. "Love hasn't got anything to do with the heart, the heart's a disgusting organ, a sort of pump full of blood. Love is primarily concerned with the lungs. People shouldn't say "she's broken my heart" but "she's stifled my lungs." Lungs are the most romantic organs: lovers and artists always contract tuberculosis. It's not a coincidence that Chekhov, Kafka, D.H. Lawrence, Chopin, George Orwell and St Thérèse of Lisieux all died of it; as for Camus, Moravia, Boudard and Katherine Mansfield, would they have written the same books if it werent for TB?"
Author: Frédéric Beigbeder
13. "According to Beckett's or Kafka's law, there is immobility beyond movement: beyond standing up, there is sitting down, and beyond sitting down, lying down, beyond which one finally dissipates."
Author: Gilles Deleuze
14. "Svako živi iza rešetaka koje nosi sa sobom. Zato se sada tako mnogo piše o životinjama. To je izraz cežnje za slobodnim, prirodnim životom. No, prirodni život za coveka jeste ljudski život. To se, ipak, ne vidi. Necemo da vidimo. Ljudska egzistencija je odvec tegobna, zato bismo da je se otarasimo, barem u fantaziji. [...] Vracamo se životinji. To je znatno prostije od ljudske egzistencije. Dobro ušuškani usred stada, marširamo ulicama gradova na posao, na valove i u zadovoljstva. To je život strogo kao u kancelariji. Nema cuda, nego jedino uputstva za upotrebu, obrasci i propisi. Bojimo se slobode i odgovornosti. Stoga se radije gušimo iza rešetaka koje cak i sami popravljamo." (Kafka o "Preobražaju")"
Author: Gustav Janouch
15. "You sit at the edge of the world,I am in a crater that's no more.Words without lettersStanding in the shadow of the door.The moon shines down on a sleeping lizard,Little fish rain from the sky.Outside the window there are soldiers,steeling themselves to die.(Refrain)Kafka sits in a chair by the shore,Thinking for the pendulum that moves the world, it seems.When your heart is closed,The shadow of the unmoving Sphinx,Becomes a knife that pierces your dreams.The drowning girl's fingersSearch for the entrance stone, and more.Lifting the hem of her azure dress,She gazes --at Kafka on the shore"
Author: Haruki Murakami
16. "The world is a metaphor, Kafka Tamura."
Author: Haruki Murakami
17. "Une âme solitaire errant le long d'un rivage absurde battu par les flots. C'est peut-être la signification de ce nom : Kafka."
Author: Haruki Murakami
18. "Perhaps most people in the world aren't trying to be free, Kafka. They just think they are. It's all an illusion. If they really were set free, most people would be in a real pickle. You'd better remember that. People actually prefer not being free?"
Author: Haruki Murakami
19. "It is not Kafka's fault that his wonderful writings have lately turned into a fad, and are read by people who have neither the ability nor the desire to absorb literature."
Author: Herman Hesse
20. "We've inherited many ideas about writing that emerged in the eighteenth century, especially an interest in literature as both an expression and an exploration of the self. This development ? part of what distinguishes the "modern" from the "early modern" ? has shaped the work of many of our most celebrated authors, whose personal experiences indelibly and visibly mark their writing. It's fair to say that the fiction and poetry of many of the finest writers of the past century or so ? and I'm thinking here of Conrad, Proust, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, Plath, Ellison, Lowell, Sexton, Roth, and Coetzee, to name but a few ? have been deeply autobiographical. The link between the life and the work is one of the things we're curious about and look for when we pick up the latest book by a favorite author."
Author: James Shapiro
21. "If you try to write posthumously, however, fashion doesn't apply. You step off the catwalk, ignoring this season's trends and resigning yourself to being unfashionable and possibly unnoticed, at least for a while. As Kurt Woolf, Kafka's first publisher in Germany, wrote to him after Kafka's book tanked, "You and we know that it is generally just the best and most valuable things that do not find their echo immediately." Fashion is the attempt to evade that principle: to be the echo of someone else's success and, therefore, to create nothing that might create an echo of its own."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
22. "I did my dissertation on Kafka."
Author: Jessie Ware
23. "It was this other side of Avery - the fact that he so visibly had an other side - that was helping me finally understand all three of the dimensions in Kafka: that a man could be a sweet, sympathetic, comically needy victim and a lascivious, self-aggrandizing, grudge-bearing bore, and also, crucially, a third thing: a flickering consciousness, a simultaneity of culpable urge and poignant self-reproach, a person in process."
Author: Jonathan Franzen
24. "This brings me back to the image of Kafka standing before a fish in the Berlin aquarium, a fish on which his gaze fell in a newly found peace after he decided not to eat animals. Kafka recognized that fish as a member of his invisible family- not as his equal, of course, but as another being that was his concern."
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
25. "Yo he escrito también algunos cuentos en los cuales traté ambiciosa e inultimente de ser Kafka"
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
26. "The three of them knew it. She was Kafka's mistress. Kafka had dreamt her. The three of them knew it. He was Kafka's friend. Kafka had dreamt him. The three of them knew it. The woman said to the friend, Tonight I want you to have me. The three of them knew it. The man replied: If we sin, Kafka will stop dreaming us. One of them knew it. There was no longer anyone on earth. Kafka said to himself Now the two of them have gone, I'm left alone. I'll stop dreaming myself."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
27. "The beautiful unruliness of literature is what makes it so much fun to wander through: you read Jane Austen and you say, oh, that is IT. And then you turn around and read Sterne, and you say, Man, that is IT. And then you wander across a century or so, and you run into Kafka, or Calvino, or Cortazar, and you say, well that is IT. And then you stroll through what Updike called the grottos of Ulysses, and after that you consort with Baldwin or Welty or Spencer, or Morrison, or Bellow or Fitzgerald and then back to W. Shakespeare, Esq; the champ, and all the time you feel the excitement of being in the presence of IT. And when you yourself spend the good time writing, you are not different in kind than any of these people, you are part of that miracle of human invention. So get to work. Get on with IT, no matter how difficult IT is. Every single gesture, every single stumble, every single uninspired-feeling hour, is worth IT." Richard Bausch"
Author: Kathy Fish
28. "Kafka is still unrecognized. He thought he was a comic writer."
Author: Leslie Fiedler
29. "When Kafka allows a friend to understand that he writes because otherwise he would go mad, he knows that writing is madness already, his madness, a kind of vigilence, unrelated to any wakefulness save sleep's: insomnia. Madness against madness, then. But he believes that he masters the one by abandoning himself to it; the other frightens him, and is his fear; it tears through him, wounds and exalts him. It is as if he had to undergo all the force of an uninterruptable continuity, a tension at the edge of the insupportable which he speaks of with fear and not without a feeling of glory. For glory is the disaster."
Author: Maurice Blanchot
30. "As the German expression has it, the last judgement is the youngest day, and it is a day surpassing all days. Not that judgement is reserved for the end of time. On the contrary, justice won't wait; it is to be done at every instant, to be realized all the time, and studied also (it is to be learned). Every just act (are there any?) makes of its day the last day or - as Kafka said - the very last: a dat no longer situated in the ordinary succession of days but one that makes of the most commonplace ordinary, the extraordinary. He who has been the contemporary of the camps if forever a survivor: death will not make him die."
Author: Maurice Blanchot
31. "The moment Kafka attracts more attenetion than Joseph K., Kafka's posthumous death begins."
Author: Milan Kundera
32. "[Kafka] transformed the profoundly antipoetic material of a highly bureaucratized society into the great poetry of the novel; he transformed a very ordinary story of a man who cannot obtain a promised job . . . into myth, into epic, into a kind of beauty never before seen."
Author: Milan Kundera
33. "She pictures his jovial figure, dressed up in his T-short, shouting that Kafka was born in Prague, and she feels a desire rising through her body, the irrepressible desire to take a lover. Not to patch up her life as it is. But to turn it completely upside down. Finally take possession of her own fate."
Author: Milan Kundera
34. "Kafka e Hasek nos põem em confronto com este imenso paradoxo: durante a época dos tempos modernos, a razão cartesiana corroía, um após outro, todos os valores herdados da Idade Média. Mas, no momento da vitória total da razão, é o irracional puro (a força querendo apenas seu querer) que se apossará do cenário do mundo, porque não haverá mais nenhum sistema de valores comumente admitido que possa lhe fazer esse obstáculo."
Author: Milan Kundera
35. "Not to me," I said.Kafka wrote his first story in one night. Stendhal wrote TheCharterhouse of Parma in forty-nine days. Melville wrote Moby-Dick in sixteen months. Flaubert spent five years on MadameBovary. Musil worked for eighteen years on The Man WithoutQualities and died before he could finish. Do we care about anyof that now?"
Author: Paul Auster
36. "Old Prague was a story-book city caked in grime: ancient, soot-blackened. History lived in every detail: in the deerstalker rooftops and the blue-sparking trams. He wandered the streets in disbelief, photographing everything, images from Kafka crowding into his head. With the turn of every corner it came back to him: the special frisson you get behind enemy lines."
Author: Philip Sington
37. "With the rain fallingsurgically against the roof,I ate a dish of ice creamthat looked like Kafka's hat.It was a dish of ice creamtasting like an operating tablewith the patient staringup at the ceiling."
Author: Richard Brautigan
38. "It's morning. The brown scoops of coffee, thewasplikeCoffee grinder, the neighbors still asleep.The gray light as you pour gleaming water--It seems you've traveled years to get here.Finally you deserve a house. If not deserveIt, have it; no one can get you out. MiseryHad its way, poverty, no money at least.Or maybe it was confusion. But that's over.Now you have a room. Those lighthearted books:The Anatomy of Melancholy, Kafka's Letter to his Father, are all here. You can danceWith only one leg, and see the snowflake fallingWith only one eye. Even the blind manCan see. That's what they say. If you hadA sad childhood, so what? When Robert BurtonSaid he was melancholy, he meant he was home"
Author: Robert Bly
39. "I learned my realism from guys like Kafka."
Author: Robert Coover
40. "The campus, an academy of trees,under which some hand, the wind's I guess,had scattered the pale lightof thousands of spring beauties,petals stained with pink veins;secret, blooming for themselves.We sat among them.Your long fingers, thin body,and long bones of improbable genius;some scattered gene as Kafka must have had.Your deep voice, this passing dust of miracles.That simple that was myself, half conscious,as though each moment was a pagewhere words appeared; the bent hammer of the typestruck against the moving ribbon.The light air, the restless leaves;the ripple of time warped by our longing.There, as if we were paintedby some unknown impressionist."
Author: Ruth Stone
41. "Everything creepy and Southern isn't Faulknerian, just like everything annoying isn't Kafkaesque."
Author: Scott Spencer
42. "Is there just one single love in a lifetime? Are all our lovers ? from the first to the last, including the most fleeting ? part of that unique love, and is each of them merely an expression of it, a variation, a particular version? In the same way that in literature there is just one true masterpiece to which different writers give a particular form (taking the twentieth century alone: Joyce, who explores everything happening inside his character;s head with microscopic precision; Proust, for whom the present is merely a memory of the past; Kafka, who drifts on the margins between dream and reality; the blind Borges, probably the one I relate to best, etc)."
Author: Sijie Dai
43. "Ma plimb singur prin orasul pe care l-am întemeiatl-as recunoaste si-n somnfarmacia kafka, bulevardul kierkegaard, statuia în care nietzsche îl înnobileaza pe cioran, turnul lui schopenhauer, magazinul de piane hölderlin, canalul schumann, parcul de distractii baudelaire, spânzuratoarea tyler durdensingur în orasul pe care l-am construit prin aceleasi mijloace prin care au ridicat mafiotii las vegas în desertprin introspectie progresiva si controlatasingur"
Author: Ştefan Bolea
44. "When I encountered these haunting words from Franz Kafka, I realized exactly why this light sermon about the search for God had struck such a nerve: "Everyday life is the greatest detective story ever written. Every second, without noticing, we pass by thousands of corpses and crimes. That's the routine of our lives."
Author: Stephen Kendrick
45. "But if I were to say who influenced me most, then I'd say Franz Kafka. And his works were always anchored in the Central European region."
Author: Vaclav Havel
46. "Ever since the days when such formidable mediocrities as Galsworthy, Dreiser, Tagore, Maxim Gorky, Romain Rolland and Thomas Mann were being accepted as geniuses, I have been perplexed and amused by fabricated notions about so-called "great books." That, for instance, Mann's asinine "Death in Venice," or Pasternak's melodramatic, vilely written "Dr. Zhivago," or Faulkner's corn-cobby chronicles can be considered "masterpieces" or at least what journalists term "great books," is to me the sort of absurd delusion as when a hypnotized person makes love to a chair. My greatest masterpieces of twentieth century prose are, in this order: Joyce's "Ulysses"; Kafka's "Transformation"; Bely's "St. Petersburg," and the first half of Proust's fairy tale, "In Search of Lost Time."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
47. "I have associated myself with failed scientists in order to associate myself with failed irony. ("Metier: Why I Don't Write Like Franz Kafka")"
Author: William S. Wilson
48. "Your self-esteem is a notch below Kafka."
Author: Woody Allen
49. "Writers do not write what they want, they write what they can. When I was 21 I wanted to write like Kafka. But, unfortunately for me, I wrote like a script editor for The Simpsons who'd briefly joined a religious cult and then discovered Foucault. Such is life. And now, when I finish a long day of CNN-related fear and loathing mixed with eyeballing my own resolutely white screen, I do not crawl into bed with 500-page comic novels about "multicultural" London. I read Carver. Julio Cortázar. Amis's essays. Baldwin. Lorrie Moore. Capote. Saramago. Larkin. Wodehouse. Anything, anything at all, that doesn't sound like me."
Author: Zadie Smith
50. "Some writers are the kind of solo violinists who need complete silence to tune their instruments. Others want to hear every member of the orchestra—they'll take a cue from a clarinet, from an oboe, even. I am one of those. My writing desk is covered in open novels. I read lines to swim in a certain sensibility, to strike a particular note, to encourage rigour when I'm too sentimental, to bring verbal ease when I'm syntactically uptight. I think of reading like a balanced diet; if your sentences are baggy, too baroque, cut back on fatty Foster Wallace, say, and pick up Kafka, as roughage. If your aesthetic has become so refined it is stopping you from placing a single black mark on white paper, stop worrying so much about what Nabokov would say; pick up Dostoyevsky, patron saint of substance over style."
Author: Zadie Smith

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When I on set as a director I crazy. My temper is not that good."
Author: Andrew Lau

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